Friday, March 16, 2012

JR Motorsports fired up for Bristol weekend

JR Motorsports is fired up for a weekend in Bristol

This marks their 350th Nationwide Series start since the team's 2005 debut in Homestead-Miami. In seven years, JRM has scored nine victories, 70 top-five and 147 top-10 finishes, they’ve even won seven pole awards.

Photo Courtesy JR Motorsports
“This is a big race for us and our sponsors,” team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. said about Bristol, “We try hard to put together cool programs that will get our sponsors the most bang for their buck, and I think you’re seeing that from JR Motorsports across the board this weekend with all our teams." Earnhardt went on to explain, "Danica’s Go Daddy program is really cool, and Cole is running with this week. If we can drive business and keep Rick (Hendrick) happy, that works for all of us!”

Earnhardt Jr. will race this Saturday in the No. 5 car for the second year, and for the second time this year. Last year’s March race, he finished in third. Cole Whitt, JR Motorsports' newest driver, is running a full time season in the Nationwide Series for the first time. He's had a good start thus far, standing fourth in points after the first three races.

Photo Courtesy JR Motorsports
“These past couple weeks have been good,” Whitt said, “but I’m going to keep working on it, keep working on myself. I obviously have a lot to learn. Being a rookie, I’m going to learn throughout this entire season. I look forward to seeing how this year will progress.” This weekend, Whitt will race the No. 88 Chevy. His new sponsor is currently hosting a sweepstakes where one lucky fan will win a VIP experience to Indy this summer.

Danica Patrick is back to Bristol for the second time. She’ll have a specially-designed St. Patrick's Day paint scheme on her No. 7 car. Last year, for this race Patrick had to park her car early after an on-track accident and off-track confrontation with Ryan Truex, but that didn’t stop Patrick from having a good time. “Last year was my first trip to Bristol and I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed the racing and the track. My day ended a little early, but I still got quite a bit of racing in. I was still having my best short track race and I had never been there before. I won’t ever forget walking on to the track the first time and seeing the banking.”

This year, Patrick wants to finish. “I need a good short-track finish. Short tracks have been my biggest hurdle. A good, honest finish this week at Bristol would really boost my confidence.”

Considering Daytona's conflict between Whitt and Patrick, will the close quarters of short track racing bring more tension, or have the two settled their differences? Tune in to ESPN Saturday at 1PM Eastern to find out.


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